Molecular analysis in a family presenting with a mild form of late-onset autosomal dominant chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia

Department of Medical Biochemistry, Medical Biology and Medical Physics, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.
Neuromuscular Disorders (Impact Factor: 2.64). 06/2009; 19(6):423-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.nmd.2009.04.008
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Nuclear genes affecting mitochondrial genome stability were screened in an Italian family presenting with autosomal dominant progressive external ophthalmoplegia (adPEO) associated with multiple mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) deletions. We report on a heterozygous c.907C>T (p.R303W) mutation found in the N-terminal domain of the human mitochondrial DNA helicase, Twinkle protein, in six members of a family, in which two individuals manifested late-onset PEO and morphological and molecular signs of mitochondrial dysfunction along with two carriers who are presently free of disease manifestation. We also investigated if the p.R303W mutation in PEO1 gene affected the relative copy number of mitochondrial DNA genomes.

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Available from: Lucia Artuso, Sep 29, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We describe a 62-year-old woman with chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia (CPEO), multiple lipomas, diabetes mellitus, and a novel mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutation at nucleotide 4302 (4302A>G) of the tRNA(Ile) gene (MTTI). This is the first mutation at position 44 in the variable loop (V loop) of any mitochondrial tRNA. The muscle biopsy revealed 10% ragged-red/ragged-blue fibers and 25% cytochrome c oxidase (COX)-deficient fibers. No deletions or duplications were detected by Southern blot analysis. The 4302A>G transition was present only in the patient's muscle and single-fiber analysis revealed significantly higher levels of the mutation in COX-deficient than in normal fibers. Like tRNA(Leu(UUR)), tRNA(Ile) appears to be a "hot spot" for mtDNA mutations causing CPEO.
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in the Twinkle (PEO1) gene are a recognized cause of autosomal dominant progressive external ophthalmoplegia (adPEO), resulting in the accumulation of multiple mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) deletions and cytochrome c oxidase (COX)-deficient fibers in skeletal muscle secondary to a disorder of mtDNA maintenance. Patients typically present with isolated extraocular muscle involvement, with little apparent evidence of the clinical heterogeneity documented in other mtDNA maintenance disorders, in particular POLG-related disease. We reviewed the clinical, histochemical, and molecular genetics analysis of 33 unreported patients from 26 families together with all previous cases described in the literature to define the clinical phenotype associated with PEO1 mutations. Ptosis and ophthalmoparesis were almost universal clinical features among this cohort, with 52% (17/33) reporting fatigue and 33% (11/33) having mild proximal myopathy. Features consistent with CNS involvement were rarely described; however, in 24% (8/33) of the patients, cardiac abnormalities were reported. Mitochondrial histochemical changes observed in muscle showed remarkable variability, as did the secondary mtDNA deletions, which in some patients were only detected by PCR-based assays and not Southern blotting. Moreover, we report 7 novel PEO1 variants. Our data suggest a shared clinical phenotype with variable mild multiorgan involvement, and that the contribution of PEO1 mutations as a cause of adPEO may well be underestimated. Direct sequencing of the PEO1 gene should be considered in adPEO patients prior to muscle biopsy.
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    ABSTRACT: Multiple mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) deletions usually have a mendelian inheritance secondary to mutation in nuclear genes. One of these is the Twinkle gene whose mutation is responsible for autosomal dominant progressive external ophthalmoplegia (PEO). The number of reported cases with mainly myopathic symptoms and possible nervous system involvement related to Twinkle gene mutation is limited. We present a new French family of whom two members displayed myopathy and neuropathy associated with PEO, and we perform a clinical review in light of other observations reported in the literature. The proband, one son and the daughter have been investigated. Southern blot analysis and long-range PCR assay have been performed from muscle biopsy specimens. Coding exons and flanking intron regions of polymerase gamma (POLG) and DNA helicase (Twinkle) genes were sequenced. Multiple mitochondrial DNA deletions have been found and sequencing of the Twinkle gene showed the change p.R374Q. Two other families from the literature also had the R374Q mutation. Symptoms reported in association with this mutation were myopathy, peripheral neuropathy, dysarthria and/or dysphagia, respiratory insufficiency and parkinsonism. Respiratory insufficiency caused by chest wall weakness was reported in other families with different Twinkle gene mutations, and one might provide exercise intolerance, dysarthria and/or dysphagia as symptoms in favor of the diagnosis. Occurrence of impressive emaciation was a peculiarity in our family.
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